Kyrgyzstan edges closer to new government

By bne IntelliNews March 27, 2014

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Three of the five parties represented in Kyrgyzstan's parliament said on March 26 that they are willing to join a new government coalition alongside the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), raising hopes that a new government could be formed relatively quickly.

Ar-Namys, Ata Meken and Ata-Jurt have expressed their wish to join a coalition, the leader of the SDPK, Chynybay Tursunbekov, told Parliament FM radio.

On March 20, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev asked the SDPK to form a new coalition by April 11, after the collapse of the previous government on March 18. The SDPK has been part of successive government coalitions formed since Kyrgyzstan's 2010 parliamentary elections.

After receiving the mandate from Atambayev, the SDPK also approached the fifth party represented in the parliament, Respublika, but has not so far received a response. "The Respublika faction hasn't yet expressed any intention," Tursunbekov added, according to the Kabar news agency.

On March 25, Omurbek Tekebayev, leader of Ata Meken, suggested Joomart Otorbayev, the acting head of government, as a candidate for the country's next prime minister. "He's got vast work experience and is known both in Kyrgyzstan and abroad. He enjoys the population's trust. We don't want to change government every year," Tekebayev said, according to 24.kg. "I hope Otorbayev's government would work at least for two years."

Other potential candidates for prime minster include Ar Namys leader Feliz Kulov and parliamentary speaker Asylbek Zheenbekov.

The unicameral Kyrgyz parliament is made up of 120 deputies: 28 from Ata-Jurt, 26 from the Social Democratic Party, 25 from Ar-Namys, 23 from Respublika and 18 from Ata Meken. To form a government, a coalition needs to hold a majority of over 50% in parliament, meaning that at least three parties are needed to form a coalition.

The Yrys-Aldy Yntymak coalition, comprising the SDPK, Ar-Namys and Ata Meken, collapsed when Ata Meken quit on March 18. The party accused PM Zhantoro Satybaldiyev of abuse of office and corruption, connected to his role heading the government's efforts to rebuild the south after deadly ethnic violence in June 2010.

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